“It was always him…The one I shouldn’t want, shouldn’t crave, the one who could destroy my carefully built life. Hagen Lykaios was the essence of sin, indulgence, and danger – everything I knew to avoid. All it took was one unexpected touch, and he consumed me, left me begging, needy, and hungry for more. He said if I entered his world he would corrupt me, own me, and change all that I had ever known…and you know what? I went anyway.”
There has been a lot of hype around how great this book is and I was so drawn into reading it. But I like to go in with an open mind and make my own judgements. Let me tell you right now that this book didn’t just live up to the hype, it smashed it clear out of the water. In fact I am still fanning myself and feeling a bit overheated as I write this review. This book is dirty, dangerous and so sexy but there is a beautiful love story buried deep within and that is what will draw you in and keep you hooked.
Persephone ‘Penny’ (Starlight) Kipos lives a very sheltered and innocent life according to the outside world. She works and is a shareholder of Kipos International, the company founded by her late father. But all is not as it seems. Before her father’s death he had been about to divorce his second wife Dara, mother of his son and Penny’s half-brother Aiden. But his untimely death, in a suspicious road traffic accident, meant that the divorce did not go through and Dara became joint shareholder with Penny until Aiden turned 21 and could take his shares. Penny has been under the thumb to Dara, in order to protect Aiden who at eight years younger, has almost being raised by Penny. Penny has put her life on hold to ensure Aiden gets his inheritance but Dara will do everything in her power to stop it. In reality she has secretly set up her own chemical distillery and created Firewater, an alcoholic drink that is selling for thousands of dollars per bottle and is in exclusive supply and demand. Penny has always suspected Dara is behind her father’s death but in order to prove it she may have to make a deal with the devil. So it’s a good thing she has been in love with him for as long as she can remember!
Hagen Lykaios has had a rough life. He was disowned by his father and kicked out at the age of 17 and he ended up roaming the streets with nowhere to go. After living rough and hungry for months and fighting off abusers he is finally taken in by Draco Jackson, the Japanese mob boss who runs Las Vegas. He took Hagen in and trained him as his own but this included being part of a criminal underworld and taking part in things that gave him a reputation that would stick. Eventually Draco came to view Hagen as one of his grandsons and allowed him to go off and conquer Las Vegas, but to know he would always be bound to him. Hagen goes on to make a name for himself and together with his younger brothers Pierce and Zack, they set up their own company, which has branched out into several industries until they own Vegas. The brothers are well known and respected but Hagen and his past are feared more of all. He has earned his reputations as the Master of Sin and it is something his tries to live up to. But again, all is not as it seems. He is not completely the bad boy the press makes him out to be. He is not a womaniser and is in fact friends with most of his ex’s. They all know where they stand and that he doesn’t want a relationship. But that might have something to do with the fact that no woman has made him feel the way his childhood friend Penny has. Now Penny is finally asking to be corrupted and Hagen doesn’t have the strength to resist.
Hagen and his Starlight are one hell of a couple. I don’t think that I have ever read a book where I could almost feel the couple’s chemistry bleeding out of the pages. They are so hot they are almost on fire! Penny, despite her innocence, has always know Hagen is the one for her and has held out until the time is right. She is determined to make something happen and act on the burning need she has for Hagen. But Hagen believes he is not good enough for her and as a result struggles to say how he really feels. This leads to Penny having doubts until she realises that actions speak louder than words. Hagen is such a complex character. He is forced into darkness with his past but that is not truly who he is. He allows the world to see the stone-cold persona, as it works for him but with his Starlight he is kind, caring and almost in awe of her. His jealousy and possessiveness actually turned her on. Hagen has loved Penny for as long as he can remember but he just doesn’t know how to say the words. But he knows the minute she gives herself over to him she is his forever. He owns her body and soul but it’s the love she gives him that helps him to see that he is more than just his past.
This book is part of a series and we are introduced to Pierce and Zack, the other Gods of Vegas who will be getting their own books, I hope! Because of the serial element to the books there are some bits of the plot that have gone unanswered and I hope they are covered in the sequel. But there are no cliff hangers that will leave you frustrated, they are just loose ends that need tying off. Plus, whilst I love the fact Hagen and Starlight agree to be together forever, I wanted to see what that looked like. I want to know what happens next.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. Hagen is a strong, alpha male who loves to dominate and talk dirty. Penny is an innocent girl with a secretive, feisty side that has loved Hagen for as long as she can remember and is desperate for him to corrupt her. This leads to a sexy, passionate, erotic relationship that sets both of their worlds on fire. This book features secrets, lies, intrigue, lust, sin and lots of dirty sex which is the perfect combo for a great book. I cannot recommend this book more and I can’t wait to start reading the next book.
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review